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The concept of social responsibility (SR) seems to have become an integral part of the contemporary global environment. SR affects people’s lives on a number of levels, including social, economic, political, financial, and environmental ones (Devinney 2015). A closer look at the subject matter, however, will reveal that it affects the decision-making processes associated with every domain of people’s lives. The concept provides a very rigid set of values that are bound to contribute to a gradual improvement of the global environment, including its economic, environmental, political, and financial characteristics. Since SR provides a solid foundation for a worldwide benefit and the integration of the global community, it must be promoted actively.
According to Duckworth and Moore 2010, the current SR definition provides a rather vague description of what the concept is, depicting it as a “goal of perfection” (Duckworth & Moore 2010, p. 1). However, the ISO standards can be used to narrow down the definition, describing SR as “the responsibility of an organization for the impact of its decisions” (Duckworth & Moore 2010, p. 2).
SR bears a range of similarities to the Quality Movement (QM). However, it should be viewed as the tool for supporting QM as opposed to being a separate phenomenon. Reinforcing the global reporting initiative (GRI), SR serves as the means of promoting consistent community improvement (Duckworth & Moore 2010).
SR principles include accountability, transparency, and ethical behavior, as well as respect for stakeholders’ interests, the rule of law, international norms of behavior, and human rights. ISO 26000 indicates that SR must promote organization governance, human rights, labor practices, environment, fair operating practices, consumer support, and community development. SPFRMEA the Plan-Do-Check-Act, the Multicriteria Decision Making (MCDM), and other tools were designed to enhance the SR promotion process by assessing and addressing the associated risks (Duckworth & Moore 2010).
The idea of promoting SR principles on a global level is rather reasonable seeing that it will allow improving people’s lives in a number of domains. The importance of quality improvement, for which SR allows, in the fields of business and industry production processes, is going to have a positive effect on waste management and the use of lean production (Duckworth & Moore 2010). Therefore, environmental and economic issues are bound to be addressed. Similarly, the incorporation of SR principles into the framework of business and economy will have a positive impact on the financial processes due to a drop in the number of threats associated with unethical behaviour (Duckworth & Moore 2010, p. 103-104). Therefore, rapid improvement is expected.
That being said, the enhancement of the use of SR is going to be rather difficult. Requiring a significant change in corporate values across all organisations, the process is bound to take a substantial amount of time. Furthermore, tighter control needs to be established across organizations. The identified change will demand the introduction of a new system of values, management and leadership principles, and social standards (Huang 2015).
The introduction of SR allows for a range of positive changes in socio-cultural, economic, political, and environmental contexts. However, the changes are fraught with numerous challenges, which may be addressed by altering the current value system and leadership principles. Thus, the basis for quality improvement across all domains can be built.
Devinney, TM 2015, ‘Bringing new perspectives to the study of social responsibility’, Annals in Social Responsibility, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-9.
Duckworth, HA & Moore, RM 2010, Social responsibility, CRC Press, Chicago, IL.
Huang, L 2015, ‘Quality or responsibility? The impact of two categories of social responsibility on the consumer-brand relationship’, Marketing Management Journal, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 27-42.